Someone once said about blogging: “never before have so many people said so much to so few”. I find this quote hilarious because it really does capture a lot of blogs quite well. What makes the internet so powerful is always what makes it so bloated. The ability to broadcast information instantly and efficiently to as many people as may find the information valuable. But information that nobody sees is useless. That’s why a WordPress blogger needs to do more than write, they need to promote.
We all have dreams of content we write going viral, and our blogs gaining instant credibility, being read by millions every day. But that happens to a tiny fraction of us. The rest need to work tirelessly to write quality content and distribute it as widely as possible. Here are some solid, white-hat methods for distributing content and promoting your WordPress site.
1.Write quality content!
I had to insert this one even though it is not a direct “promotional tool”. I also listed this as the top method for promoting your WordPress site because I believe strongly that writing quality, unique and useful content is the most important step in creating a popular website. If people find your content useful, they will share it among their network and promote it for you.
2. Guest blogging
This is one of the oldest tricks in the playbook, but it work. Offer to create quality, unique content for similar websites. Don’t fill the content with links back to your site, rather just one link in your author byline. This method goes along with numbers 5 and 7, relating to building relationships with other WordPress sites.
By writing unique content for other websites, you are doing them a favor and building a long term connection that will benefit you over time. They may offer to return the favor. In the least, you will garner new readers from their traffic.
3. Promotions and Giveaways
I’ve done this a few times here on Pingable and other WordPress sites I run. It is easy to set up a promotion and it generally works at building traffic and readers. One method is to identify a resource you already have, such as a product or service, and give it away to a lucky visitor. Another method is to partner with a member of the WordPress community, such as a theme producer, and give away someone else’s product. They benefit with free publicity and the “winner” benefits by getting something for free. It’s a win-win-win.
I have even done this with physical products on a non-WordPress site I run. I worked out a deal with a manufacturer of tech accessories to give one of their products to a lucky reader. People were entered into a drawing by liking my site on Facebook or following on Twitter. I earned a lot of followers that month!
4. Submit content to social sharing sites
Some websites have sprung up in the last few years that are essentially clones of Digg, or vertical market within that focuses on a specific area such as WordPress. These sites let you submit links to articles that visitors then vote up (or down) based on usefulness and appeal. These sites can be useless or incredibly helpful. Again, your content needs to be good or else your efforts on these websites will be for nothing. Some examples of social sharing sites include:
5. Build relationships
Why on earth do you need to build a relationship with other (competing) websites? Because even on the internet, relationships are everything. Working together, two WordPress admins can boost traffic to both of their sites. The first example of this is guest posting described above. But two collaborating admins can also share links, swap ads, trade content, liven the comment discussions and offer tips and feedback.
I have been consistently surprised at the positive response I’ve received when blindly reaching out to webmasters who’s sites I liked. People are often friendly and approachable, willing to talk about collaborations most of the time. What types of collaborations? How about joining forces? One of the best ways to guarantee success is to combine your assets and time.
6. Offer a unique resource
This one is big. I once ran a very small WordPress powered site (that I’ve since sold). I made a couple hundred dollars writing some quality posts for a very popular site. I took that money, and paid someone to develop a custom theme that I then gave away on my blog. Not only did this garner new loyal readers, it raised the value of my site so that when the time came to sell, it was worth the normal price plus the value of the custom theme that came with it.
What’s also helpful about this strategy is the fact that people really have to link back to you, giving you credit. You then become the resource everyone is talking about, instead of being one of the everyone talking about someone else’s resource. Of course, people will steal the resource and not give you credit. But those people far outweigh the honest ones.
7. Comment and interact with colleagues
This one is a great way to promote your site. Let me be clear: this is not about plastering the internet with links to your blog. This is about generating good, honest discussion. Many websites allow you to insert a link with your username which is good. But if you engage in healthy discussion about a topic related to your site, many people could see it and convert to readers. Again, don’t spam, don’t simply comment for the sake of commenting. Engaging in a friendly discussion and visitors will follow.
What did I miss?
There are thousands of ways to promote your WordPress site out there, which ones are your favorite? Leave them in the comments below and I could add them to this post.